What a Crock! Irish stews pleasing dish

Advocate staff photo by Heather McClelland  -- Slow-cooking Irish Stew is similar to those served throughout Ireland.
Advocate staff photo by Heather McClelland -- Slow-cooking Irish Stew is similar to those served throughout Ireland.

By Julie Kay

Special to Food

Ireland’s lush farmland is probably why its vegetables are so delicious and the Irish use them well in most dishes.

On a recent tour of the country I enjoyed potatoes in just about every conceivable way, carrots that tasted much milder and sweeter to my palate than those we get here, and homemade Irish Stew at every turn. Naturally, my thoughts turned to slow cooking, especially for a stew.

What better venue to cook a great Irish stew than the slow cooker? And while many of the stews there included lamb, it can also be done well with cut-up chuck roast or beef stew meat, which might be a little more affordable and easier to find in our local grocery stores.

Guinness, a rather stout beer, is also found freely throughout the country and touring the factory in Dublin where it is made is a fascinating experience. The beer is found in a number of recipes, including a variety of stews.

The alcohol content cooks away, but it does leave behind a very pleasing flavor.

This slow-cooked Irish stew is not only good, but a nice remembrance of some lovely days. Hopefully, it will be just as pleasing to many of you.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at juliekay1@cox.net.